Seneca County Lions Clubs hosts Reverse Raffle for Project Lifesaver

By Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator

It can happen in an instant. A person with a cognitive condition such as dementia or autism wanders away, and the family is left in a traumatic flurry of search and worry. Thanks to funding from the Seneca County Lions Clubs, local residents have access to Project Lifesaver, a national program that utilizes radio technology to help families bring their loved ones home.

On March 23, the Seneca County Lions Clubs hosted a Reverse Raffle at the Tiffin Moose Lodge to raise funds for Seneca County Project Lifesaver, the local arm of the national organization that is managed by the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office. Seven Lions Clubs collaborate to support Seneca County Project Lifesaver: Attica, Bascom, Bloomville, Fostoria, Old Fort, Republic and Tiffin.

From left, Seneca County Sheriff Fred Stevens, Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins and Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart were among the many county employees and local residents who attended the Seneca County Lions Clubs Reverse Raffle to support Project Lifesaver.

The Reverse Raffle featured a 50/50 drawing, side raffles and prizes. Dinner was provided by AJ’s Heavenly Pizza, and the Tiffin Moose Lodge provided the venue.

“The community support was great. Everyone had a good time,” said Tiffin Lions Club Secretary Connie Cole.

Project Lifesaver provides transmitters for people who are at risk for wondering due to a cognitive condition. The transmitter is worn on the wrist or ankle and emits an individualized frequency signal. When a person wanders, the frequency signal is used by First Responders to locate them. To date, Project Lifesaver has rescued 4,278 people nationwide.

The Lions Clubs’ Reverse Raffle raised needed funds to help Project Lifesaver keep at-risk residents in Seneca County safe. Among the crowd were Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart and Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins.

“There was a full house at the Tiffin Moose for the Project Lifesaver benefit raffle,” Commissioner Frankart said. “It’s definitely great to see all the donations that the businesses and community provided for the raffle.”

Over 20 staff members from the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, including Sheriff Fredrick Stevens, attended the event to show their support. Every Sheriff’s Office department was represented at the event, including road, jail, dispatch and civilian support.

“Thanks to my fellow elected officials for coming out tonight and supporting this worthy cause, Project Lifesaver, which allows the Sheriff’s Office to partner with our local Seneca County Lion’s Club chapters to have this service for residents with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome,” Sheriff Stevens said. “The fundraising events help with the costs of running this project, the tracking bracelets & batteries, individual tracking units for our cruisers and more.”

Cindy Beat of the Bloomville Lions Club serves as president of the Project Lifesaver committee. She said the Seneca County Lions Clubs are happy to support such an important program.

“There’s a need for this in Seneca County,” Beat said. “It’s not fully utilized here because many people out there who need it are not aware of it.”

Beat said some people who do know about Project Lifesaver are hesitant to sign up because of privacy fears, but the bracelets are only tracked when a wearer is reported missing.

“I think people are afraid to use it, but when you put a Project Lifesaver bracelet on an individual, the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t know where they’re at until they go missing. They only track them when they’re missing,” Beat said. “We’re really concerned about getting people the help they need.”

Sheriff Stevens is concerned as well.

“If you know of anyone in need of these services, please reach out to our office, and we will get you the information,” he said.

For more information on Project Lifesaver, contact the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 419-447-3456.